Most Markets Closed for Good Friday Observances

April 18, 2014

The dollar is unchanged against the euro, Swissie, sterling, and yen.  The U.S. currency is down 0.2% vis-a-vis the kiwi and 0.1% relative to the Australian dollar and yuan.  The loonie has edged 0.1% lower.

Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.7%.

The 12-month rise in Chinese property prices, 7.7% in March after 8.7% in February, was at an 8-month low.  Prices were higher in just 56 of 70 measured cities.

Progress has been reported in resolving the violence in Eastern Ukraine.

Japan’s tertiary index, which measures service-sector activity, fell 1.0% in February, led by accommodations.  The drop reversed a 0.9% advance in January, leaving the index just 0.9% above a year earlier but also 1.1% higher on average in January-February than in 4Q13.  Service-sector activity is particularly sensitive to a consumption-tax hike.

The French leading and coincident indices of the economy were respectively down 0.3% and up 0.1% in February.  The LEI had risen 0.3% in December and 0.4% in January.

Dutch consumer confidence continued to recover in April, rising another two points to a reading of minus 5.

Italian industrial orders sank 3.1% in February, cutting the 12-month rate of increase to 2.8%.  Orders had advanced strongly in January.  Italian hourly wages posted a 1.4% on-year increase in the first quarter of 2014.

Many markets around the world are closed today for Good Friday observances, and much of Europe will remain shut for Easter Monday.

Copyright 2014, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.



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